Commen Sense for Your Biz is moving to redstaplerconsulting.net

Posted on October 21, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Common Sense for Your Biz is moving our blog to http://redstaplerconsulting.net/blog We apologize for the inconvenience while this move occurs and ask you to please check us out at Red Stapler Consulting’s site.  Thank you!  Look forward to seeing you and hearing from you at our new location.

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Red Stapler Consulting needs your vote !

Posted on September 4, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Red Stapler Consulting has been submitted to Ideablob.  We need your vote!  Can you help us out please?


Thank You!

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Red Stapler Consulting

Posted on September 3, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

I am thrilled to announce the official formation of Red Stapler Consulting.  http://redstaplerconsulting.net/   Yes for those of you asking and chuckling, that Red Stapler!   For those of you who are saying, huh?  Go rent the movie Office Space.

The name is not only a bit of silliness from one of my all time favorite movies, but I think it helps relay the message that the goal in both this blog and Red Stapler is to eliminate the silly, redundant, impractical and nonsensical aspects of running your business.

Red Stapler Consulting was developed to serve the different needs of independents, freelancers and small businesses.  We provide all of the services that they would receive if they had the money and resources to hire a full office staff, office manager and Operations Director.  The services we provide include:

Scheduling / Time Organization & Planning

Write / Type / Proofreading Services – white pages, contracts, proposals, press releases, thank yous, etc…

Accounts Receivable Invoicing

Accounts Payable — Bill Payment/Tracking – can include checkbook balancing and income/expense tracking / reporting

Contract, Lease and Agreement review and negotiation // Insurance, utilities, services analysis, agreement review and follow-up

File Organization & Maintenance

Client Maintenance & Recognition – keeping contacts current, client follow-up, recognition (birthdays, company anniversaries, gifts, holiday cards)

Travel arrangements


Marketing – mailing/processing

Personal Assistant Services

Having been born of experience working with and knowing several indies and freelancers, Red Stapler has a unique model for providing these services.  We recognize that the average independent would hire office staff or an assistant if they could afford it.  The problem is that generally they can’t.   So they are left with no option but to find the time to get leads, pitch to new clients, produce the work or make the sales plus handle all of the day to day aspects of running their businesses.   What do they do when there is an aspect of running that business that they either are not good at, don’t like or just don’t have the time for?   That is where Red Stapler comes to the rescue.  If the one thing that the freelancer needs help with is making sure the invoices get out the door on a regular basis, we’ll do just their invoicing.  Or their file maintenance or their contact follow-up or whatever services fill the need of that specific individual.  We provide a full service menu of work in an ala carte format.  Take one, two, three or all of our services, customized to the specific needs of the particular business.

Red Stapler is also there to “save the day” when that huge project comes along.  The one that the independent knows is going to be their entire life 24/7 for the next ____ amount of time (weeks, months, etc..)   Red Stapler can handle the basic necessities of keeping the business running to allow the freelancer or independent to be their fullest, most creative, most productive selves.

That is the sole purpose of Red Stapler – to relieve the indie of the day to day, occasionally mundane, repetitive tasks that take them away from being artistic, gifted, prolific, producing those billable hours and finishing projects.

The business idea and model developed from experiences working with and watching/listening to the experiences of several brilliant, hardworking entrepreneurs, freelancers and independents.   I was privileged to be there to share the joys of their successes and the frustration of some of their failures.  A good friend, who is also an entrepreneur was my first inspiration, “cheerleader” and sounding board.  He listened, debated, advised and supported as the idea behind Red Stapler (which went through several name and model changes along the way) incubated.   Along the way, I discovered Twitter and a whole new world of inspiration and support.  I read innumerable tweets from so many amazing people who had found their skills and passions and taken the leap to build a life with those things as the base.  Each one made me feel that tug of entrepreneurship a little more and a little more each day.   A chance encounter with Tara Hunt, the infamous missrogue,  ( http://www.horsepigcow.com/ ) led to a dialogue that made me realize the only thing standing in the way of pursuing my own rainbow was me.   Tara, Connie Reece, Susan Reynolds, Laura K, Laura (Pistachio) Fitton, Ann (AnnOhio) Miller , Michelle (chelpixie) Wolverton  and so many more phenomenal women and men (too many to list, unfortunately) exhibited ambition, enthusiasm and transparency that gave me a new understanding of what it meant to be a successful entrepreneur in today’s world.   My final excuses were pushed away by watching the amazing growth and success of the tech and creative communities and coworking movement here in Philadelphia.   I remember reading the Independents Hall website ( http://www.indyhall.org/ ) one day and finally saying, if they can do it, why can’t I?  So here I go!  And Red Stapler is born.

I’m excited about the future.  I am excited about the opportunities.  I am excited about the new life Red Stapler will provide.  But I am most excited by the prospect of what Red Stapler can do to help those brave, exciting, creative independents and freelancers take their businesses into the stratosphere of success.

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“Common sense is not so common”

Posted on August 22, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

The quote is attributed to Voltaire, but it is something we have all thought or experienced it at one time or another.  Government bureaucracy, dealing with children, corporations, things done by our management or colleagues, all of these and many others have occasionally left us shaking our heads wondering  who thought of this and why.

The real question though is – how often do your co-workers, vendors, customers or clients wonder the same thing about you, your business, service or product?    How often do they look at what you are doing and just shake their heads?  It is likely more often than you think.  

Have you ever had that client who just stopped calling you to do work?  No explanations given.  You know it was not the quality of your work (they raved about the results) or the price (you gave them a fair enough price that they paid you immediately), but you know that it was something.  You just don’t know what.  It is a good bet that it could involve the “head shake factor”.   That moment when a client looks back at their interactions with you and shakes their head because there is something that just did not make sense.  Your work was phenomenal, but maybe how you chose to present or deliver it didn’t make sense.   Maybe it was your processes, your communication, even possibly your billing practices, they might not even be able to put their finger on what it was, but there was something that made that customer wonder.   Now that customer may not ever clearly identify that what they are questioning is your common sense, but the bottom line is that is exactly what it is.  When there is something that makes your client do the “head shake” it is all the result of you failing to exhibit solid common sense approaches to your business.

We all do it.  We become so enthralled in our work and entrenched in our processes that we forget to ask the most important question – Does this ________ (whatever) make sense in this situation?   It sounds like such a simple question, but it is one that we don’t ask often enough.  We move along with our successes and failures, assuming that we are making the right decisions in each aspect of our business.  We get caught up in doing most things the same way, time and time again.   We do it because most of the time it works, it is the way it has always been done, it becomes familiar and seems easy and maybe, most of the time it produces results.   The good thing is that a lot of the routine things in our businesses can be done the same way.   The bad thing is when we fail to stop and make sure that we are using our common sense when we set up our processes, plan our projects, schedule ourselves and our work, make financial decisions, pitch a proposal to a client, all of the things we do that are crucial to the success of our businesses.

Does it make sense to pitch that particular project to that particular client in that particular way?   Do I really need to buy that new piece of equipment now or would it make more sense to wait another month or two when my cash flow is better?   Does it make sense to use this application for this project/my business/etc…?   The list of ways we can make our business more efficient, more productive, just plain More is endless.   It is just a matter of taking the few seconds to ask ourselves – What I am doing, thinking, planning – Does It Make Sense?

Common sense is not difficult.  It is, in most people, an innate knowledge.  But all too often we fail to apply our common sense to things that are familiar.   When was the last time you looked at your office management, the way you handle your entire process from obtaining a lead to cashing that final check?  You likely have it broken out in steps, since it is a process after all.  Does each of these steps logically and smoothly lead into the next one?   If you can honestly say they do, then you have used your common sense to put the process together.  Good for you!

The challenge today and for the future of your business success is to take that moment, ask the question – Does this make sense?  You’ll be surprised to find that for each time you ask that question and implement the positive answer, whether it was what you were planning or something different, you’ve gained another inch up that ladder that will take your business up into the stratosphere of success.   So go forth, start questioning and start using your common sense.  Your clients,  customers, co-workers, your business and You, will thank you.

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The beginning of it all…

Posted on August 20, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Common sense is defined as sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.   I don’t have a business degree, I am not an entrepreneur (yet!), I am a social media noobie, but there are a few things I like to think my parents’ hard work instilled in me, such as, good common sense, an innate desire to play fair and a solid work ethic.  What I have learned in my years of working for large and small corporations and running a few small businesses is that all too often we forgot that those are the basics of good business.  We lose sight of how the basic concepts of common sense, service and admirable ethics will make or break our companies.  We become trapped in the glitz, flash, money, power, tedium, discouragement and even the minutia of pushing our business to higher levels.

I have sat back and watched my companies, the corporations I have worked for, my entrepreneurial friends, businesses I interact with and just people in general both succeed and fail.  In viewing all of this I have observed one constant, the one thing that will make or break it all is common sense.  How is it applied to what we do?  Do we stop and think whether or not what we are doing makes sense?  If we are not asking those questions, we are doing a disservice to our customers, clients, the people in our lives, our businesses and ourselves.

I’ve been blessed with a pretty good head for business.  I don’t know it all and I don’t claim to know it all.  I have, however, learned a few things along the way.  There are things I have to share.   I have a voice and something to say.  My hope is that somewhere in that voice, in those words, I will make a contribution.  A contribution to you, your business, your clients, your life and our world.  That my experiences, my advice, will make you to stop and think.  Optimally, you will find something that makes running your business a little easier, a little less aggravating, more efficient and more fun.  Things that will free you to bring your best, your most creative selves to what you are delivering to your clients.

I don’t promise that I’m going to give you that lightning bolt moment that will change your business and make you millions overnight.  I can promise you that I will bring you common sense ways to think about your business, your processes, how your interact with your clients and the ways you get “free” to be your superior self.

So, thanks for joining the journey with me.  I welcome your feedback.  Business, like life, is about relationships and the best relationships are built on communication.  So, I’ll bring you my “gems” of common sense.  You bring me your thoughts.  Deal?

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    Helping businesses increase their productivity, efficiency and bottom line through some common sense


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